by John Hawkins | November 17, 2006 11:07 am
If you’re looking for any evidence that the GOP learned something from the 2006 elections, you won’t find it in the results of today’s leadership elections.
John Boehner absolutely crushed Mike Pence 168 to 27. Furthermore, Roy Blunt gave John Shadegg a thrashing that was almost as brutal, winning 147 to 57.
Now Boehner, maybe you could rationalize. A lot of members may have felt like he replaced Tom DeLay late in the game and that the election results really weren’t his fault. But, Blunt? This is a guy who is close to K street, loves pork, and isn’t really interested in ethics reform.
When you see guys like Blunt and Trent Lott in power, it’s a pretty clear indication that the Republicans in Congress think that they don’t need to change very much and that business as usual will be acceptable. In other words, they seem to think if you let people see what the Democrats are like for a couple of years they’ll be begging for another round of “compassionate conservatism.”
That’s unfortunate, but it looks like it’s where we’re at. Still, with apologies to Donald Rumsfeld, you go into political battle with the Republican leadership you have, not the Republican leadership you might want or wish to have.
So, like it or not, we’re stuck with a not particularly impressive crowd of leaders in Washington and we’re just going to have to deal with it, at least for the next couple of years. All we can really do about it at this point is praise Republicans to the skies when they do something good, verbally beat them like rented mules when they make mistakes, and hope that it eventually sinks in.
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